Premier Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter Virat Kohli faced social media mockery after he failed to lead his side to victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Indian Premier League (IPL) this week.
Virat Kohli’s RCB is in fifth place on the table behind Rajasthan Royals (RR), Gujarat Titans (GT), and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), which have 10 points each. Lucknow Super Giants are fourth with eight.
While some called him “shameless”, others alleged he was only concerned about personal milestones and not keen to lead his side to victory against opposition teams in the cash-rich league.
Some even posted memes to have fun at Virat Kohli’s expense.
HaRCB is back pic.twitter.com/67FB9I00QO
— Divakar Sharma (@bOYBhaYankar) April 26, 2023
Captain leading from the front… perfect “40 balls fifty” by Virat Kohli, well played King #PBKSvRCB pic.twitter.com/6GJwFVu5ej
— TukTuk Academy (@TukTuk_Academy) April 20, 2023
average harcb choking lovers. https://t.co/AZV0elBXiT
— पी.सी (@devdassssssss) April 26, 2023
Even in our worse season with injuries,We owned harcb twice both home and away.Some things never change in ipl and kkr being unofficial father of harcb is one of them!From Baz’s knock to GG era to Rana now.#KKRvRCB pic.twitter.com/LxxrwaJ6k0
— Slayer (@Cricnerd36) April 26, 2023
Harcb aur unki fans ki aanokhi love Story #RCBvKKR pic.twitter.com/Hlao3Qj8aa
— Pranjal (@RealPranjal93) April 26, 2023
We own Harcb pic.twitter.com/K90xjvt5hA
— 🅡︎🅘︎🅢︎🅗︎🅘︎ (@Rishi_rajput24) April 26, 2023
With RCB needing 201 to win the contest, Virat Kohli smacked a majestic 54 off 37 balls but failed to take his side over the finishing line.
While Virat Kohli couldn’t secure two points for his team, he did accomplish a major milestone in the clash.
En route to his 54 against KKR, Virat Kohli became the first batter to reach the 3,000 run mark at a single stadium in T20s. Overall the 34-year-old has made 3,015 runs in 92 knocks at Bengaluru’s iconic M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Right behind the Delhi-born cricketer in the last are ex-Bangladesh skippers Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim.
In 121 innings, Mushfiqur Rahim has collected 2,989 runs at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, and Mahmudullah has accrued 2,813 runs in 130 knocks at the same ground.
England’s Alex Hales and Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal occupy the fourth and the fifth spots on the list. While the Englishman has made 2,749 runs in 90 innings in the shortest format in Trent Bridge, the Bangladeshi has completed 2,706 runs in Mirpur.
After RCB’s loss to KKR, Virat Kohli slammed his team’s display. The talismanic batter said that his side “deserved to lose”.
“To be honest, we handed over the game to them,” Virat Kohli told Star Sports after RCB’s loss. “We deserved to lose because we weren’t professional enough in the field. The bowlers hit decent areas, but we didn’t hold on to our chances. That’s what you call a freebie in T20 cricket and we literally handed them a victory, which for me is not ideal because we take pride in the way we play and tonight we weren’t up to standard and something we are not shy to admit.”
“With the bat, we set ourselves up really well and then [there were] so many soft dismissals,” Virat Kohli added. “Balls which are not wicket-taking balls but we ended up hitting it to fielders about four-five times in the innings. These are some of the soft plays in cricket which you want to avoid as a team. So when you do six-seven of those on a night, obviously you are going to be on the losing side.
“Even after losing wickets as well, one partnership brought us back in the game. We were one more partnership away from getting close to chasing that [target] down. We just need to identify things that did not go right tonight and not give soft plays to the opposition.”
Fans were not alone in criticizing Virat Kohli as former England skipper Michael Vaughan launched a scathing attack on the premier India batter for his slow batting approach, particularly against spin bowlers.
According to Michael Vaughan, Virat Kohli’s strategy of playing an anchor role wasn’t working out for the RCB, as his slow batting put more pressure on the team’s middle order.
“A lot of teams are going to bowl spin against Virat because of his strike rate against them. I think he has a 107 strike rate against spin. So most teams are going to bowl spin against Virat Kohli and they are going to put three fielders at the mid-wicket,” Michael Vaughan told Cricbuzz.
“I think his mindset after the powerplay is almost to be there at the 18th (over). I don’t think he is thinking about boundaries enough. I think he can (hit boundaries) because he is got the game, the power and the timing to be able to go and hit the six,” Michael Vaughan further stated.
“They can’t rely on the cameos from that middle-order. He (Virat Kohli) is going to continue with the mentor of that first six. It’s like a team take a couple of more risks,” the former England skipper noted.
Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh, however, defended Virat Kohli. He even argued that the RCB talisman cannot do everything alone.
“Virat Kohli cannot do everything alone. Yes, he will score runs for you all the time and is a fantastic player. However, he needs support from other players, which was missing. Everyone got out one by one, and they eventually lost the game,” Harbhajan Singh said on his YouTube channel.
Meanwhile, 1983 World Cup winner Sunil Gavaskar backed Virat Kohli to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 international centuries.
“Sachin Tendulkar also played till his 40s and he had kept his fitness. Kohli is very aware of his fitness. He is still, the fastest runner between wickets in this Indian team. Only when MSD was there, you could say, MS Dhoni was as quick, if not quicker. Today, at this age, he beats the youngsters hands down. Converting 1s into 2s, and 2s into 3s, he is an absolute champion at that. And not just his runs, but for his partners as well,” Sunil Gavaskar told Aaj Tak.
So with that kind of fitness, for him to play till 40 would not be a surprise at all,” the batting legend further added.
“I don’t think so (problem playing all formats and IPL). It’s your love for the game that sustains you. Sometimes, it’s that love for the game that keeps your going for a year or two more than you should.”
“If your love for the game is there, you can go for a long time. When that is there, I don’t think there is any worry about lasting long,” Sunil Gavaskar signed off.
Virat Kohli would return to action on May 1 when RCB would look to defeat the Lucknow Super Giants to secure their fifth win in nine games.
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